Naperville Multi-Car Accident Attorneys
Automobile crashes can be an unavoidable reality of driving, even when motorists practice safe driving. Adverse weather conditions can cause cars to slide on icy or wet roads, resulting in accidents and chain reaction collisions that are hard to avoid. Crashes may also happen because of vehicle defects, damaged roadways, poor visibility, speeding, or distracted driving. While some accidents involve only two cars, others can involve multiple vehicles, making it challenging to establish liability. This is where The Collins Law Firm's skilled car accident attorneys can help. Our lawyers help injured parties recreate the accident, determine fault, and seek fair compensation.Multi-Car Collisions Can Mean Multiple Drivers at Fault
In accidents involving more than two vehicles, several drivers can be responsible. For instance, one car might collide with a second vehicle, which then hits a third car. The first driver could be liable for causing the initial crash, but if the second driver was distracted by texting and could have avoided hitting the third car, they may also share the blame.
Multiple-car collisions often occur on busy roads like the Kennedy Expressway, the Eisenhower, I-88, and other Chicago expressways, and they can be devastating for those involved. If you're a victim of a multiple-car pileup, the damage to your property, serious injuries, and related expenses can be staggering.
Multi-car crashes resulting in fatalities or life-threatening injuries can incur costs that exceed millions of dollars. Moreover, the legal disputes arising from these accidents can be fierce and lengthy, lasting for months or even years. Untangling the facts of the accident and determining fault can be a time-consuming process. This is why we recommend calling our experienced Illinois car accident lawyers to handle your multi-car accident case.
Determining fault is critical to resolving a car accident, as insurance companies need to know who should be held accountable for the damages and injuries. When multiple parties are to blame, the cost is distributed among their respective insurance companies, per Illinois's "comparative negligence" rule. This system compares the fault of each party as a percentage, making each party liable for their corresponding share of responsibility.
It's important to know that even if you're the plaintiff in a multi-car accident case, you may be found partially liable. In that case, your compensation may be reduced proportionally. For example, if you were 10 percent responsible, you may only receive 90 percent of your total payment.
Additionally, Illinois follows the "modified comparative negligence" doctrine, which bars individuals from receiving compensation if they are more liable than other parties. If your fault is 51 percent or more, you will not receive any compensation at all.
To ensure maximum compensation, it's advisable to hire an experienced Naperville multi-car accident attorney who can help you pursue every at-fault party in the accident.How Fault Is Determined in Multiple Car Collisions
To determine the parties responsible for a car accident, a comprehensive analysis is conducted by the police, insurance investigators, and personal injury attorneys. They thoroughly examine every detail of the accident and reconstruct it to determine precisely what transpired. In some cases, your attorney may find it necessary to hire an accident reconstruction expert to determine fault. Various factors are taken into consideration, such as:
- The location of the damage on each car
- Whether any parties were speeding, driving while distracted, or driving under the influence
- Whether there was equipment failure in any of the vehicles
- Factors like defective road design, adverse weather conditions, and the role of pedestrians or cyclists
Each of these factors is evaluated to determine the percentage of fault for each driver, which can significantly impact the damages that can be recovered.Types of Evidence that are Crucial for Determining Fault
Determining responsibility is the main hurdle in a multi-vehicle accident case. When three or more drivers are involved, it is common to encounter a situation where each party blames the other. This requires thorough investigation and data collection, including the following evidence:
- Witness statements: In a multi-vehicle accident, eyewitness accounts can be extremely valuable. Our car accident attorneys know how to identify and question eyewitnesses properly.
- Photographs: Pictures of the accident scene and resulting damage provide an accurate visual representation, which can be useful in securing compensation through trial if necessary.
- Expert testimony: When there is abundant evidence and testimony, statements from an accident reconstruction expert can help promote the credibility of useful evidence and effectively counter harmful evidence.
- Police investigation: In some cases, law enforcement investigations and reports can help prove which driver is ultimately responsible for the injuries sustained.
In Illinois, drivers involved in a traffic accident must file an accident report if the crash resulted in injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,500 (or $500 if one of the drivers is uninsured). If a police officer doesn't arrive at the scene, the drivers involved must file a report with the Illinois State Police within 10 days. However, if a police officer does appear on the scene, they will handle the accident reporting as part of their investigation.
During the Incident:
- Activate your hazard lights to signal to others that your vehicle is stopped and they need to slow down.
- Remain in your car and keep your seatbelt fastened until law enforcement or emergency services confirm it is safe. If there is a major pileup or inclement weather, it may not be safe to exit your vehicle, as cars may continue to collide.
- Collect your thoughts before speaking to the police. Be truthful but concise. Avoid saying unnecessary information. Always be polite and stick to the facts as much as possible.
- Take photos of the scene, your car, and the other car(s) involved if possible. Skid marks, traffic obstructions, and surrounding property damage can all aid in determining fault.
- Look for witnesses and obtain their contact information. They may be valuable in resolving any liability disputes.
After the incident:
- Seek medical attention for any injuries sustained. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent or may worsen over time. Keep all the receipts and documentation.
- Notify your insurance company promptly.
- If another driver caused the accident, seek legal representation from a Naperville multi-car accident attorney.
Multi-car accidents are complex and require an experienced attorney to represent your interests. Our skilled Illinois car accident lawyers will work to ensure that you receive fair compensation while you focus on your recovery. If you have been injured in a multi-car collision, call us at (630) 527-1595 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you get back on track.